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Team Giadresco have enjoyed a successful Great Southern season and look set to get on the board early at the Albany Racing Club’s season finale with JUS TALKEN. This three-year-old has been a bit costly to follow in recent starts, however, he is coming off back-to-back minor placings at Pinjarra and that form obviously stands out in this company. JUS TALKEN will more than likely start odds on, but won’t get a better opportunity to break through and should just win. LOAD THE MUSKET is having her first run for new trainer Gary Hitchcock and we didn’t mind her first-up effort at Pinjarra when working to the line well enough at the end of 1300 metres. Blinkers have been added for this assignment and we’re expecting her to run a race. SHORT BLACK ROMAN has recorded three top-three finishes in succession and he’s expected to be fighting out the finish again, while THROTTLE was sent to the front last Friday and appreciated the positive tactics by posting a career-best result.
Suggested: 3. JUS TALKEN win.
3. JUS TALKEN
7. LOAD THE MUSKET
2. SHORT BLACK ROMAN
Gingin-based trainer Cliff Green does plenty of travelling with is team and looks to have plucked out a really nice option for promising four-year-old YADREAMIN’. The daughter of Dream Ahead has been very well backed when runner up at her two Geraldton outings to date and is expected to attract plenty of support again, especially with the addition of blinkers. Likely to enjoy the run of the race from her low draw and YADREAMIN’ ticks the most boxes. SPORTHOUSE DREAM had admirers in a similar assignment to this two weeks back, but got too far out of her ground and worked home reasonably well under the circumstances. Previous run behind Athlone Castle and Red Moon reads well and she should be fighting out the finish. MARGAYS produced a massive effort on debut at Mt Barker back in November, but her raceday and trial form since has been indifferent. Still, no surprise to see produce something first up, while JESTER DINI wasn’t far away in a similar race to this last Friday.
Suggested: 5. YADREAMIN’ 1 x 3 units.
6. SPORTHOUSE DREAM
3. JESTER DINI
These Ratings 58+ Handicaps have been super competitive all season and this one is no different. Going to go for the more-than-handy DR SYKES, who looks well placed back in this company after having no luck against much stronger opposition in town last month. Has been kept on the fresh side since that run and the addition of gun apprentice Brodie Kirby has to be a positive considering he’s ridden seven winners at the past two Albany meetings. DR SYKES is two from two over this Track/Distance and should take a stack of beating. Local warhorse OUR BUDDY BOY has raced 10 times in the Great Southern this season for three wins and five placings, and a win here would see him challenging for the region’s horse of the year honours. Surprisingly couldn’t cross Sunset Pete last Friday and with the 6kg pull in the weights, couldn’t quite get over the top of that galloper late. Expecting him to lead unchallenged on this occasion though and will take some running down. CHASING CHAOS was doing his best work late when beaten only a length in a similar event last Friday and must rate among the main hopes, while LORD KRONOS ran into a smart one in Mass Effect in this grade last start and is another capable of winning this open affair.
Suggested: 3. DR SYKES 1 x 3 units.
3. DR SYKES
1. OUR BUDDY BOY
2. CHASING CHAOS
5. LORD KRONOS
Only the eight runners in this Ratings 70+ sprint, but an 8kg spread in the weights has given punters plenty to consider. Thought this could be a good option for consistent local NATURALISTE at his first start in 71 days, with the natural on-pacer likely to enjoy a sweet run on top of the speed from his low draw. Didn’t do a lot wrong during his last campaign, recording three placings in this grade as well as one at Ascot, and his fresh record suggests he’s more than capable of stretching some better-credentialed opposition. SPIN DA WHEELS is naturally the horse to beat after back-to-back Albany wins in pretty much identical assignments to this recently. Both victories have been decisive and although he’s up to 62kg, he still has a significant class edge on his opposition. BLIZZARD EXPRESS may be an eight-year-old, but has rarely raced better or as consistent and has to be a contender after carrying 61kg to a head defeat here last Friday. Looks well placed sliding back down to 55kg, while FRIAR’S GIFT placed behind SPIN DA WHEELS and SECRET MINX here in this grade two starts back and that forms obviously stacks up.
Suggested: 5. NATURALISTE each way.
2. SPIN DA WHEELS
6. BLIZZARD EXPRESS
7. FRIAR’S GIFT
Have tracked the Steve Wolfe-trained BENTLEY’S BROTHER all season and the planets finally aligned for him last Friday when recording a solid maiden victory, after covering additional ground in running. Still appears to have plenty to learn and is a touch one-paced, however, the experienced Peter Hall would have found out a bit more about him last week and the three-year-old should relish the return to 1900 metres, having hit the line hard over this trip when a luckless third at Narrogin two back. BENTLEY’S BROTHER is promising enough and looks the horse to beat. We were keen on NOTTA MOCHA last Friday, however, he simply couldn’t catch a break in running, when dragged back to last swinging for home and never really getting a good crack at them in the straight. Distance is a slight query, but he still has to be considered a major player. TEMPLAR’S CROSS loomed as the winner in a similar event to this last start, but couldn’t quite get the job done with Aground kicking back late. Competing well and should go close again, while COSTA OESTE prefers to roll and wasn’t suited when ridden with a sit last start. No surprise to see him bounce back with regular jock Mitchell Pateman back on board.
Suggested: 3. BENTLEY’S BROTHER 1 x 3 units.
3. BENTLEY’S BROTHER
4. NOTTA MOCHA
2. TEMPLAR’S CROSS
1. COSTA OESTE
DOUBLE EDGED was one of our best of the program last Friday and the in-form four-year-old didn’t let us down, controlling the tempo out in front and holding his rivals at bay for a strong victory. Pingrup-based trainer Gordon Keay has this fellow ticking over nicely, with five top-three finishes in succession, and with the flying Brodie Kirby on board, DOUBLE EDGED should jump straight to the lead and dictate terms again. All things being equal, it’s hard seeing any of these getting over the top of him late. Visiting first-upper STORMY PLANET is a bit of a wildcard, with her best form stacking up very well. Hasn’t been far away in two Lark Hill trials recently, competing against some high-quality opposition, and maps to enjoy a lovely run in transit parked up behind the leaders. FAULTY comes through the same race as DOUBLE EDGED last Friday and ran on well after getting settling towards the tail. Senior jockey Peter Hall goes on and this five-year-old shouldn’t be taken lightly, while CHENGDU hasn’t been far away at the finish of his past two and has to be included in your exotic bets.
Suggested: 2. DOUBLE EDGED 1 x 3 units.
2. DOUBLE EDGED
7. STORMY PLANET
Pretty keen on smart filly ANNA AMALIA to take out the final race of Great Southern 2017/18. Has been in sizzling form since being transferred to the Roy Rogers stable, with two wins and two placings in four outings, and her last-start effort to chase home the flying Double Edged after racing wide throughout was brave. Reckon this three-year-old is destined for better things and with even luck in running ANNA AMALIA should be too strong. ATHLONE CASTLE is a promising customer also and followed up his good maiden victory with a second placing to Double Edged last Friday. Is a bit quirky, but his racing manners are improving with every run and he has to rate among the top chances. RED MOON dictated terms out in front here two weeks back and did enough in the run home to score a well-deserved maiden win. Drawn to race on top of the speed again without burning too much fuel early, and he should have plenty left in the tank to give a strong kick late, while stablemate SECOND BEST has her share of ability and no surprise to see her bounce back to form from an inside draw with Brodie Kirby in the saddle.
Suggested: 5. ANNA AMALIA 1 x 3 units.
5. ANNA AMALIA
2. ATHLONE CASTLE
4. RED MOON
9. SECOND BEST
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of the Albany Racing Club.